Vikings just aired its 65th episode — and soon it will air its last. EW has confirmed the news, originally reported by Deadline, that the History series will conclude next season.
The historical drama began back in 2013 as the tale of Ragnar Lothbrok, a farmer with dreams of exploration and conquest. Over the course of the hit History epic’s long run, Ragnar (played by Travis Fimmel) became an earl and then a great king, traveling across the sea to England and to the great walls of Paris. The show’s world expanded and evolved, moving from a single hero’s journey toward a larger story of civilizations clashing. Ragnar himself died, giving way to a new generation of warriors, shieldmaidens, would-be kings, and monsters.
The end is near… though not too near. The second half of season 5 is currently airing on Wednesdays, and there’s no official word on when season 6 will debut. We do know that the final season will contain 20 episodes, following a model established by season 4, which aired in two 10-episode halves.
EW can also confirm that History is currently in discussions with Vikings creator Michael Hirst to produce a possible continuation of the franchise. The precise nature of this spin-off is under wraps, though we do know that, if greenlit, it would involve Hirst (who has written every episode of the series) and writer Jeb Stuart (whose previous credits include Die Hard and The Fugitive).
Because Vikings has continuously killed off key characters and leapt forward decades in time, in some respects the current season already feels like a continuation series, featuring several key characters who hadn’t even been born when the series began. Though it does still prominently star Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), a warrior woman-turned-monarch-turned-fugitive who’s romanced two kings, a shieldmaiden, and a bishop, all while devotedly mothering one of the great explorers of the age. We’ll miss you, Vikings!